Tuesday, 6 August 2013


In 2010 under the leadership of Chief Executive, Dr Sue McGonigal, Thanet Council embarked upon a major re-structuring exercise. One of the “big” changes, according to the report (written by Dr McGonigal) which led to the re-structuring, was to develop a Commercial Services function which “maximises its income – thereby supporting the budget and reducing pressure on the Council tax”.

 One of the key components of the new super-duper “income generating” Commercial Services function was of course Maritime operations which, under the Directorship of Mark Seed, was ordered to “review profit and performance and maximize income recovery”.

Dr McGongigal’s report went on to say that Commercial  Services and  Maritime operations would work to “strict income targets” and if these targets were exceeded Director Mark Seed and his team would be eligible to receive bonuses from a “profit sharing scheme”.
So why did it all go Pete Tong?

Well, whilst the good Doctor and her Director were espousing, to all who would listen, the new Council credo of income maximisation, profitability and developing a more business-like approach, they were simultaneously ensconced in secret meetings in Thanet and Ostend with Transeurpa Ferries (TEF)  and its 3 Cypriot registered associates, agreeing a deal which ran totally contrary to  Dr McGonigal’s maritime master plan.

Instead of maximising and recovering income at the Port, it was agreed in November 2010 and March 2011 that TEF and its associates would not have to pay a penny in fees and charges for the foreseeable future.

Instead of working to “strict income targets” at the Port it was agreed that the Maritime Service could allow its largest customer to run up a bill of £3.3million in unpaid fees.

Instead of requiring the Port to generate income to “reduce pressure on the Council Tax”, it was agreed to embark on a reckless, high risk, gamble with public money which achieved the reverse of what was intended.

And of course whilst the re-structuring plan was launched with  a media fanfare and countless staff  briefings, the hypocritical, double dealings with TEF were kept secret by the good Doctor, her Director, the Council Leader and his Cabinet  Finance Portfolio holder.

Whether or not anyone had a cut of the profit sharing scheme for successfully delivering this fantastic profit-focused, income-maximising  deal with TEF, I don’t know. Perhaps I should ask?

Anyway, dear readers, the next time I see him I will ask Peter if this is any way to run a Fish Factory.


  1. WTF.......... are local councils allowed by law to set up commercial enterprises with council tax payers money for Christ sake. I'd have thought not. So what roulette wheel number did Mark Seed put my £1500 quid council tax on I wonder?? How do these arseholes get away with it??

  2. Never mind profit sharing, someone should pay for this - and I don't mean us taxpayers!

  3. So why waste in the region of £2000 last night calling an extraordinary TDC meeting, along with 4 other Independent/UKIP councillors to debate totally irrelevant motions? It was interesting that your "extremely vocal" supporters chose to sit out this meeting, perhaps they could see its irrelevance. It was also farcical to observe that on both motions one of the councillors who called for the meeting, with yourself, chose not to vote either way on the motions, making the whole thing a farce of your collective making. So what was the purpose of last night? Another ploy to waste tax payers money or an attempt to generate self publicity? In the first you were completely successful. In the second I think the whole thing blew up in your face but you obviously did not realise this

  4. Sponsorship its a bit rich accusing me of wasting public money. Surely the main culprits are the Labour and Tory Cabinets who collectively wasted £3.4 million in propping up a lame duck for more than 3 years and keeping this arrangement secret. In actual fact the £2,000 (I don't know where you get you figures from) was money well spent. Had we not requisitioned an emergency meeting of the Council the cabinet would not have introduced the long overdue change to the Council financial rules requiring large outstanding debts to be reported to Council. All this was due to growing public anger and our consistent opposition to the Labour Cabinet's regime of secrecy with regard to the Transeuropa debt.

  5. SR has got it wrong. You are trying to deflect attention from the real issue and that is that Council Officers are using public tax payers money for commercial purposes and paying themselves a 'profit share'.

    20:59 has it right. Someone should pay for this. Where's the cops? Why aren't they storming the Council Bunker and handcuffing the culprits and dragging them away in the 'Black Marias' and filling up the 'Paddy Wagons'. Profit Sharing Scheme, my arse. These people are nothing more than common criminals gambling with my council tax money.